The ARDC Review Board has recommended a 60-day suspension for a lawyer who neglected a child support matter. The Review Board explained its decision in this way:
After accepting payment of $250 to handle a matter involving delinquent child support, Respondent took no further action on the matter. His clients repeatedly e-mailed and telephoned him for information about the matter and its progress, and he either failed to respond or provided false information when he did respond. After about six months of unsuccessfully trying to get information from Respondent, his clients complained to the ARDC.
The Administrator filed a three-count complaint against Respondent, charging him with neglecting the child support matter, failing to keep his clients reasonably informed about the status of the matter and failing to promptly comply with their requests for information, making false statements of material fact to the ARDC during his disciplinary proceeding, engaging in dishonest conduct, and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rules 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), 8.1(a), 8.4(c), and 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).
Following a hearing at which Respondent represented himself, the Hearing Board found that he committed most of the misconduct with which he was charged. For his misconduct, it recommended that he be suspended for 60 days, and be required to complete the ARDC Professionalism Seminar within one year of the Court’s order imposing discipline in this matter. Respondent filed exceptions, challenging only the Hearing Board’s recommendation, and arguing that a suspension of 30 days would be more in line with case precedent and commensurate with his misconduct.
Comment: this is an appropriate suspension given that the misconduct concerned only one case.
Edward X. Clinton, Jr.